St Louis Public Library System Ranks in Top 4 in the Country
To all those who have contributed in any way to the success of our St Louis Public Libraries, we thank you and salute you as some of the many unsung heroes of our community.
Three facts about St Louis Public Libraries:
- our St Louis Public Library has been ranked in the top four urban libraries in the US for seven straight years (#2 for 5 out of 6 years)
- our city finished number eight in overall literacy in 2011
- the doors of Central Library in downtown St Louis will reopen on December 9, 2012, after a two year restoration and modernization project
Pictured here is the old front and soon to be the new back of the Central Library in downtown St Louis.
Central Library was originally funded by Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900s and designed by architect Cass Gilbert. Cannon Design has been responsible for the renovation of the landmark, St Louis' George Nikoloajevich being one of the design principals.
The restoration and modernization of Central Library which began in 2010 is not just about the beautification of the brick and mortar but also about modernizing the content. The children's area will double in size with a technology section designed to encourage hands-on experiences. A teen area will offer meeting areas and feature technology specifically designed to foster young adult learning. The Library's genealogy collection will double. (My co-worker, Janie, has told me that Central Library is renowned for its genealogy and is a great resource for African Americans to trace their roots.)
The St Louis Public Library dates back to 1865 and currently has 17 locations around the city. It is free and open to all.
So here's a shout out to some of the people in our community who contribute to the enormous success of our St Louis Public Libraries:
The St Louis Public Library Foundation was organized in 1989 and is a charitable organization. In 2009 the Board initiated a $70 million restoration and modernization of three of its downtown buildings with Central Library as the centerpiece and they commited to undertake a $20 million capital campaign on behalf of this modernization and restoration.
The Friends of the St. Louis Public Library have an annual fund raiser to support education programs like Homework Helpers, Summer Reading Club and GED workshops.
In 2011, 237 volunteers donated 10,197 hours to St Louis Public Libraries.
Workers on November 19th were scurrying around inside and out getting ready for the opening of Central Library on December 9, 2012.
To make a donation to Central To Your World: the Campaign for the St Louis Public Library, click here or contact Rick Simoncelli at 314-539-0359 (he answers his own phone). To become a Friend of the St. Louis Public Library click here.